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Brian Lara is the greatest Test cricketer of all the time. He could dismantle any opposition with his batting and build massive scores for West Indies. But India had found a funny way to pick his wicket during the tour of West Indies in 2002. Former Indian wicket-keeper batsman Deep Dasgupta has disclosed the strategy used by Team India for beating Brian Lara in that tour.
Brian Lara, who still holds the record of highest individual Test score (400) in an innings, was dismissed in the 2002 series through not talking to him in the field. India’s plan was to frustrate the right-hander. When Deep Dasgupta heard about that plan, he was a bit surprised, but the results were in favour of India.
“One of the funniest things that ever happened was when we were playing against the West Indies in 2002. It was the first Test in Guayana and in the team meeting we were talking about how to handle Brian Lara. Some of the things that were said in that meeting were ‘don’t talk to him’. I was like, what are you saying? They said ‘he would get bored and get out,” recalled Dasgupta in a show called 22 Yarns hosted by Gaurav Kapoor.
During the series, Lara tried to talk to wicketkeeper-batsman and Rahul Dravid, who was stationed in the slips but both avoided him. They tried to stick to the plans which also worked as Lara lost his wickets early. In five Test matches, Lara managed only 202 runs at an average of 28.85.
“Whenever a spinner would bowl, I was behind the wicket and Rahul was there in the slips, Brian would play a ball, he would turn around wanting to talk to me or Rahul and we would turn our backs and look the other way. He would want to start a conversation and we would be like, no, nothing happening,” Dasgupta said laughing.
“He would get bored and get out. And that’s exactly what happened right through the series, Brian didn’t get a lot of runs there,” Dasgupta further said.
However, West Indies won the series by 2-1.